Everyone knows about CEDIA, the leading association for the custom integration industry. Chances are you’ve attended CEDIA Expo and taken CEDIA instructor-led technology courses. But did you know about all the stuff the association engages in behind the scenes to benefit the entire industry?
In case you didn’t, I talked to Darren Reaman, director of government affairs at CEDIA, to discuss the group’s advocacy efforts and other endeavors that help elevate the industry, all in this week’s CE Pro Podcast episode.
Reaman and other government affairs personnel have spent countless hours working on CEDIA members’ behalf to closely follow legislation, regulations, and standards that may impact not only individual integrators in their states, but the industry at large. They’re tracking hundreds of potential legislative actions at a time, across the nation.
As an example, CEDIA representatives including Reaman, CEO Daryl Friedman, and Board member Amanda Wildman recently participated in the association’s first-ever in-person CEDIA Legislative Day event. The lobbying effort took place in October at the Michigan State Capitol in Lansing (Wildman’s TruMedia integration company is based in Michigan).
First Legislative Day Exemplifies CEDIA Advocacy
In the podcast, Reaman explains the importance of such an event, which he says emanated a decade ago.
“We had a licensing issue in the state of Michigan related to alarm licensing, low-voltage licensing, and electrical licensing,” he says.
“Michigan’s kind of a unique state, in that there are 26 states that currently have a low-voltage license or low-voltage exemption so it’s a good environment for integrators to work within. Michigan has an electrical license and a security license but no low-voltage license or low-voltage exemption. So we call that an unclassified space where other licenses or trades can capture different technologies.”
Reaman says the goal was to discuss with Michigan legislators who CEDIA is, what its members are doing in the state, and to encourage the legislators the group met with to support a more regulatory environment around low-voltage and the skilled tradespeople working within it.
The CEDIA group in Lansing had a busy day, meeting with 21 legislative leaders as well as with LARA (licensing and regulatory agency), which oversees all the licensing in the state of Michigan.
“We learned a lot, it was great to have our members engaged. We did a great callout, and we’ll look to other states to kind of replicate that in the future,” Reaman reports.
“I know in 2024 we’re looking to do a Federal Hill day in Washington, D.C., so stay tuned for more information on that,” he adds.
In the meantime, Reaman notes that integrators who want to get more involved at their local and state levels to start following what’s happening in their regions and start calling or emailing municipal leaders.
Additionally, Reaman spent time on the podcast addressing standards such as the National Electrical Code and its importance to the integration industry. He explains that there are pertinent differences integrators should be aware of between the latest 2023 version and previous versions that might still be in use. He notes that the key thing is CEDIA has “representation at the table” when it comes to planning for NEC revisions, for which the 2026 edition is already under way.
Hear much more from Reaman about CEDIA’s government affairs and other advocacy efforts by downloading or listening to the podcast above. Find past episodes of the CE Pro Podcast by subscribing to the CE Pro YouTube channel or our Apple and Spotify podcast feeds.